- Avoid aerosol - there is no practical reuse or recycling potential.
Instead look for pump sprays and burn candles or incense instead of using
aerosol air freshener.
- If you have to bring home a shopping bag, use them as garbage bags,
or donate to a businesses that will reuse them (like the Salvation army
or any thrift store). Don't just throw them away. Get into the practice
/ habit of carrying your own bag (preferably a cloth or mesh one) with
you when you plan to shop. Some supermarkets now offer a 3¢ refund
when you bring your own bags. It's yet another incentive to bring your
- Rather than use refreezable "ice" containers, freeze a plastic
bottle with water and use the same way.
- Purchase products compatible with your neighborhood recycling program.
Plan ahead and consider what you will be buying and where things will ultimately
- Give away things you no longer need or want, or donate to a charitable
organization or thrift store. Don't throw away good items that are still
- Buy produce in season and from your local region. Support local agriculture
rather than importing products from another region. Not only are you paying
for shipping and transportation (unnecessary waste) but your local farmers
need the support and it will promote self-sustainability.
- Nature is one large composting system. Living organisms "eat"
organic material and turn it into a rich, crumbly soil called humus. food
scraps and yard waste can be recycled through composting. If you don't
have a yard, contribute to a local facility. If there isn't one, let officials
know that you want one. Take the initiative to start one yourself! For
a basic factsheet, send a SASE to Berkeley Ecology Center / 2530 San Pablo
Avenue / Berkeley CA 94702
- Write manufacturers about packaging or ingredients that are environmental
hazards or use animal testing. Voice your opinions, if they get enough
response things just might change!
- Stop eating meat! Not only is the meat industry cruel to animal, but
it is a vast waste of resources. If you are not already a vegetarian -
think about it - do you really need to eat that cow or pig? Vegetarian
diets put you more in tune to your body's nutritional needs. This is a
big issue and subject to which there is much reading available, and well
worth the time!!
- Styrofoam will never degrade. Find a substitute!! Don't use styrofoam
peanut packaging - but if some comes your way - reuse it!
- Christmas trees - first of all, don't kill a tree to put in your house
for 2-3 weeks. Celebrate with a living tree, or improvise. If you must
have a cut once-living tree, some communities collect trees and run them
through a chipper creating mulch. Clean your tree of all non-organic items
first. Trees can also be chopped for fire wood after Christmas (rural living).
Consider precycling and keeping a living tree in a pot, then plant it after
the holiday season.
- Donate second hand clothes to a non-profit organization (thrift store
/ homeless shelter). Worn out clothes can be turned into rags for kitchen
/ bathroom cleaning (wash and reuse).
- Tampons: use ones without applicators. If you're afraid to touch your
body, use a paper applicator over a plastic one. There are also natural
sponges that can be used internally, or home-made cloth pads to keep it
all totally DIY.